ICON Aircraft reported on May 14 that it will relocate its global headquarters to Vacaville, Calif., USA, located approximately 50 miles northeast of San Francisco. Beginning in the first quarter of 2015, the company will begin operating in a 140,000-ft2/13,000m2 facility adjacent to the Vacaville airport, also known as the Nut Tree Airport.
ICON, which manufactures composites-intensive light sport aircraft (LSA) intends to consolidate aircraft manufacturing, sales, training, service, and corporate headquarters at the new location. The move follows an extensive nationwide search for a site that would enable ICON to co-locate all divisions. The move stands to create hundreds, and eventually thousands, of advanced manufacturing-related jobs, while providing economic impact on the region that has been independently estimated to exceed $350 million.
“The selection of Vacaville as ICON’s new home is a major milestone for the company and a significant economic win for the residents of the region,” said ICON CEO and Founder Kirk Hawkins. “The move will play a major role in achieving our goal to not only deliver the best consumer light sport aircraft in the world, but also a comprehensive flight training and operating experience that our customers and employees will absolutely love. The site we have chosen has a rare combination of key elements that makes it an ideal fit for ICON at this next stage of growth. The decision to stay in California and relocate to Vacaville, located in Solano County, would not have happened without the proactive, tireless effort of the airport officials, City of Vacaville, Solano County, and the Governor’s GO-Biz office over the last several years. This has been an impressive demonstration of local, regional, and state cooperation that ultimately made it possible for ICON to remain in California.”
Vacaville supervisor John Vasquez added, "ICON will be the needed catalyst to ensure the long-term success of the Nut Tree Airport. Solano County, the City of Vacaville, as well as the North Bay region will benefit from this project. I am thrilled ICON is coming." ICON chose the site in Vacaville because of the business-friendly local government, accessibility to a vibrant, talented labor pool, existing facilities adjacent to the airport, and outstanding weather and local conditions for year-round flight operations and training. The site also allows easy access to compelling recreation destinations, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Wine Country, and Sacramento for visiting customers as well as employees. Finally, the San Francisco Bay Area represents a strong cultural fit: ICON was founded in Silicon Valley, and the company culture draws heavily on the entrepreneurial drive embodied by the area.
ICON will continue to manufacture production aircraft at its existing facility in Southern California before transitioning to the facility in Vacaville. The first customer aircraft is scheduled to be completed in early 2015.
For information on careers in Vacaville, visit www.iconaircraft.com/vacavillejobs.
Editor PickGardner Business Index at 54.1 in January
The US composites industry looks as strong as it has since early 2015, with expectations the highest in years.